Ranger Tug R23 Pot Puller

Category: Boat Stuff

Shrimp and crab season is almost here so it was time to get our boat rigged up. I wanted a pot puller with a davit and after doing (way too much) research, I decided on the Discovery Bay Power Hauler. (Bonus points that it is made right in Port Townsend!)

While I waited for the pot puller to arrive, I decided to start on the wiring. I originally had planned to use the existing Scotty power outlets that come pre-installed from the factory, but the Power Hauler has a beefy 2.3HP motor and requires 6AWG wire to power it. I ordered some wire and lugs and made my own custom battery cables (this was my first time soldering lugs on and I think they turned out quite nice).

Custom made battery cables with soldered lugs

I ran the positive cable from the thruster battery switch to a 60amp circuit breaker (in the starboard lazarette).

60amp circuit breaker

I still wanted to be able to easily remove the puller when not in use, so I decided to use a Marinco 70amp plug. It is waterproof and very stout, and recommended for this use by Discovery Bay. So I took the plunge and drilled a big hole in our perfectly good boat.

I drilled a hole in our boat!

After wiring up the outlet, it looks just like a factory install.

Outlet installed

Next up was figuring out how to mount the davit. There were a few challenges to keep in mind when choosing the position:

  • I wanted the puller on the starboard sie to make approaching the pots easy
  • The R23 has railing almost all around the cockpit
  • The cockpit floor hatches are very close to the gunnel walls and dont leave a lot of room for the floor mount

In the end, I wanted to make use of the existing Scotty downrigger pads, so I built a custom mounting plate out of some 1/4" aluminum. I drilled a hole for the davit mount and four holes to line up with the downrigger mounting holes.

Gunnel mounting plate

Gunnel mount

With that, I am able to unplug the puller, quickly remove the top mount, and the entire thing can be removed from the boat - leaving behind only the small floor mounting bracket.

Here it is all installed:



I also made a 'trap table' using the same mount that our Dickinson Spitfire grill uses. This lets me swing the traps over the gunnel and rest them at a nice working height and keeps (some) of the muck and bait out of the cockpit. (This is just a prototype so it is made out of some scrap plywood for now)

The complete install including trap table

In the end I was super happy with how it all turned out. The first shrimping day is tomorrow, so I will report back with an update on how it all worked out.




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